Encyclopedia of Needlework
by Therese de Dillmont
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To be had:

of TH. DE DILLMONT, DORNACH, Alsace, and at all booksellers, and embroidery shops.

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Price, English bound with gilt edges:

English edition Sh. 3.— French edition Fr. 5.75 German edition Mk. 3.—


The absolute want of any comprehensive book on needlework—such an one as contains both verbal and pictorial descriptions of everything included under the name of needlework—has led me to put into the serviceable form of an Encyclopedia, all the knowledge and experience, which years of unceasing study and practice have enabled me to accumulate on the subject, with the hope that diligent female workers of all ages, may be able, by its means to instruct themselves in every branch of plain and fancy needlework.

All the patterns given, even the most insignificant, were worked afresh for the purpose, and thus, not merely faithful representations, but also lucid and intelligible explanations of the same, are secured.

In order that my readers may have something besides the dull theory, the work is enlivened by a number of useful patterns, some new, some derived from the artistic productions of such countries and epochs as have become famous by special excellence in the domain of needlework.

Though, at first sight, the reproduction of many of these patterns may seem to present insuperable difficulties, they will, after a careful study of the text, and exact attention to the directions given, prove easy to carry out.

Many of these interesting designs are drawn from private collections, whose owners, with great kindness, placed their treasures at my disposal, to copy and borrow from at discretion, for which I desire to take the present opportunity, of tendering them my warmest thanks.

The choice of colours and material—a difficult matter to many—my readers will find rendered comparatively easy to them by the notes affixed to the illustrations; and I may point out, that most of the patterns were worked with D.M.C cottons, which enjoy the well-earned reputation of being, the very best of their kind, in the market of the world.

Experience has convinced me that, in many instances, these cottons may with advantage take the place of wool, linen thread, and even silk.

If this work meet with indulgent judges, and prove really useful, I shall find ample reward in that fact for the trouble and difficulties that have unavoidably attended its completion.

Plain Sewing.

Many, on opening the Encyclopedia of needlework will be disposed to exclaim as they read the heading of this first section: What is the use of describing all the old well-known stitches, when machines have so nearly superseded the slower process of hand-sewing? To this our reply is that, of all kinds of needlework, Plain Sewing needs to be most thoroughly learned, as being the foundation of all. Those who are able to employ others to work for them, should at least know how to distinguish good work from bad, and those who are in less fortunate circumstances, have to be taught how to work for themselves.

POSITION OF THE BODY AND HANDS.—Before describing different kinds of stitches, a word should be said as to the position of the body and hands when at work. Long experience has convinced me that no kind of needlework necessitates a stooping or cramped attitude. To obviate which, see that your chair and table suit each other in height, and that you so hold your work as hardly to need to bend your head at all. The practice of fastening the work to the knee, besides being ungraceful, is injurious to the health.

NEEDLES.—These should be of the best quality. To test a needle, try to break it; if it resist, and then break clean in two, the steel is good; if it bend without breaking, or break without any resistance, it is bad. Never use a bent needle, it makes ugly and irregular stitches, and see that the eye, whether round or egg-shaped, be well-drilled, that it may not fray or cut the thread. Long or half-long needles are the best for white work, long ones for dress-making, and longer ones still, with long eyes, for darning. A stock of each, from No 5 to 12, is advised. The needle should always be a little thicker than the thread, to make an easy passage for it through the stuff.

To keep needles from rusting, strew a little stone alum in the packets, and workers whose hands are apt to get damp, should have a small box of it handy, to powder their fingers with. Blackened needles can be made quite bright again by drawing them through an emery cushion.

SCISSORS.—Scissors are a very important accessory of the work-table, and two varieties are indispensable; a pair of large ones for cutting-out, with one point blunt and the other sharp, the latter to be always held downwards; and a pair of smaller ones with two sharp points. The handles should be large and round; if at all tight, they tire and disfigure the hand.

THIMBLE.—Steel thimbles are the best; bone are very liable to break, and silver ones are not deeply enough pitted, to hold the needle. A thimble should be light, with a rounded top and flat rim.

THE THREAD.—Except for tacking, your thread should never be more than from 40 to 50 c/m. long.[1] If the thread is in skeins, it does not matter which end you begin with, but if you use reeled cotton, thread your needle with the end that points to the reel, when you cut it; as the other end will split, and unravel, when twisted from left to right, which is generally done, to facilitate the process of threading. The cotton should always be cut, as it is weakened by breaking.

KNOTTING THE THREAD INTO THE NEEDLE (fig. 1).—When the thread becomes inconveniently short, and you do not want take a fresh one, it may be knotted into the needle, thus: bring it round the forefinger close to the needle, cross it on the inside next to the finger, hold the crossed threads fast, with the thumb draw the needle out through the loop thus formed, and tighten the loop round both ends.

MATERIALS.—For tacking, use Coton a coudre D.M.C qualite superieure (black and gold stamp) Nos. 2 to 6.[A] For hand-sewing, Fil d'Alsace D.M.C Nos. 30 to 700,[A] and Fil a dentelle D.M.C, balls or reels, Nos. 25 to 100[A] will be found most useful. For machine-work: Cable 6 fils pour machines D.M.C, Nos. 30 to 300,[A] black and white, or white and blue stamp. These can also be used for hand-work. Both these and the lace-thread (Fil a dentelle) on reels, are superfine in quality. The medium sizes are the most useful; but the only suitable ones for very fine and delicate fabrics are the Fil a dentelle D.M.C, and Fil d'Alsace, and the latter only is manufactured in the higher numbers.

All these threads are to be had, wound in balls, or on reels, the buyer may make his own choice; balls are apt to get tangled, but the cotton preserves its roundness better than when it is wound on reels. Linen is generally sewn with linen-thread, but Fil a dentelle and the Fil d'Alsace are very good substitutes.

POSITION OF THE HANDS (fig. 2).—The stuff, fastened to a cushion, must be held with the left hand, which should neither rest on the table, nor on the cushion, the needle must be held between the thumb and forefinger, of the right hand, and the middle finger, armed with the thimble, pushes the needle far enough through the stuff, for the other fingers to take hold of it and draw it out; the thread then comes to lie between the fourth and fifth fingers in the form of a loop, which must be tightened gradually to avoid its knotting.

POSITION OF THE HANDS WITHOUT CUSHION (fig. 3).—When the work cannot be fastened to a cushion it should be held between the forefinger and the thumb, and left hanging down, over the other fingers. If it need to be more firmly held, draw it between the fourth and fifth fingers, which will prevent it from getting puckered or dragged.

STITCHES.—Plain-Sewing comprises 4 varieties of stitches, (1) running, (2) back-stitching, (3) hemming and (4) top or over-sewing.

(1) RUNNING-STITCH (fig. 4).—This is the simplest and easiest of all. Pass the needle in and out of the material, at regular intervals, in a horizontal direction, taking up three or four threads at a time. If the stuff allow, several stitches may be taken on the needle at once, before the thread is drawn out. Running-stitch is used for plain seams, for joining light materials, for making gathers and for hems.

(2) BACK-STITCH (fig. 5).—Insert the needle, and draw it out six threads further on, carry your thread back, from left to right, and insert the needle three threads back from the point at which it was last drawn out, and bring it out six threads beyond. Stitching and back-stitching are better and more quickly done by machine than by hand.

STITCHING (fig. 6).—The production of a row of back-stitches, that exactly meet one another, constitutes what is called stitching. Only one stitch can be made at a time, and the needle must be put in, exactly at the point where it was drawn out to form the preceding back-stitch, and brought out as many threads further on as were covered by the last back-stitch. The beauty of stitching depends on the uniform length of the stitches, and the straightness of the line formed, to ensure which it is necessary to count the threads for each stitch, and to draw a thread to mark the line. If you have to stitch in a slanting line across the stuff, or the stuff be such as to render the drawing of a thread impossible, a coloured tacking thread should be run in first, to as a guide.

STITCHED HEM (fig. 7).—Make a double turning, as for a hem, draw a thread two or three threads above the edge of the first turning, and do your stitching through all three layers of stuff; the right side will be that on which you form your stitches.

(3) HEMMING-STITCH (fig. 8).—To make a good hem, your stuff must be cut in the line of the thread. Highly dressed stuffs, such as linen and calico; should be rubbed in the hand, to soften them, before the hem is laid. Your first turning should not be more than 2 m/m. wide; turn down the whole length of your hem, and then make the second turning of the same width, so that the raw edge is enclosed between two layers of stuff.

Narrow hems do not need to be tacked, but wide ones, where the first turning should only be just wide enough to prevent the edge from fraying, ought always to be. In hemming you insert the needle and thread directed in a slanting position towards you, just below the edge of the hem, and push it out two threads above, and so on to the end, setting the stitches, two or three threads apart, in a continuous straight line. To ensure the hem being straight, a thread may be drawn to mark the line for the second turning, but it is not a good plan, especially in shirt-making, as the edge of the stuff, too apt in any case, to cut and fray, is, thereby, still further weakened. Hems in woollen materials, which will not take a bend, can only be laid and tacked, bit by bit. In making, what are called rolled hems, the needle must be slipped in, so as only to pierce the first turning, in order that the stitches may not be visible on the outside.

FLAT SEAM (fig. 9).—Lay your two edges, whether straight or slanting, exactly even, tack them together with stitches 2 c/m. long, distant 1 to 2 c/m. from the edge, and then back-stitch them by machine or by hand, following the tacking-thread. Cut off half the inner edge, turn the outer one in, as for a hem and sew it down with hemming-stitches.

Smooth the seam underneath with the forefinger as you go, to make it lie quite flat. Beginners should flatten down the seam with their thimbles, or with the handle of the scissors, before they begin to hem, as the outer and wider edge is very apt to get pushed up and bulge over, in the sewing, which hides the stitches.

ROUNDED SEAM.—Back-stitch your two edges together, as above directed, then cut off the inner edge to a width of four threads, and roll the outer one in, with the left thumb, till the raw edge is quite hidden, hemming as you roll. This kind of seam, on the wrong side, looks like a fine cord, laid on, and is used in making the finer qualities of underclothing.

FASTENING THREADS OFF, AND ON (fig. 10).—Knots should be avoided in white work. To fasten on, in hemming, turn the needle backwards with the point up, take one stitch, and stroke and work the end of the thread in, underneath the turning. To fasten on, in back-stitching or running, make one stitch with the new thread, then take both ends and lay them down together to the left, and work over them, so that they wind in, and out of the next few stitches.

(4) TOP OR OVER-SEWING STITCH (fig. 11).—This stitch is used for joining selvedges together. To keep the two pieces even, it is better, either to tack or pin them together first. Insert the needle, from right to left, under the first thread of the selvedge, and through both edges, and sew from right to left, setting your stitches not more than three threads apart. The thread must not be drawn too tightly, so that when the seam is finished and flattened with the thimble, the selvedges may lie, side by side.

ANOTHER KIND OF SEWING-STITCH (fig. 12)—For dress-seams and patching; sew left to right, tacking or pinning the edges together first, and holding them tightly with the thumb and finger, to keep perfectly even.

ANTIQUE OR OLD-GERMAN SEAM (figs. 13 and 14).—Tack or pin the selvedges together as above, then, pointing your needle upwards from below, insert it, two threads from the selvedge, first on the wrong side, then on the right, first through one selvedge, then through the other, setting the stitches two threads apart. In this manner, the thread crosses itself, between the two selvedges, and a perfectly flat seam is produced. Seams of this kind occur in old embroidered linen articles, where the stuff was too narrow to allow for any other. A similar stitch, fig. 14, only slanting, instead of quite straight, as in fig. 13, is used in making sheets.

FRENCH DOUBLE SEAM (fig. 15).—For joining such stuffs as fray, use the so-called French-seam.

Run your two pieces of stuff together, the wrong sides touching, and the edges perfectly even, then turn them round just at the seam, so that the right sides come together inside, and the two raw edges are enclosed between, and run them together again. See that no threads are visible on the outside. This seam is used chiefly in dress-making, for joining slight materials together which cannot be kept from fraying by any other means.

HEMMED DOUBLE SEAM (figs. 16 and 17).—Turn in the two raw edges, and lay them one upon the other, so that the one next the forefinger, lies slightly higher than the one next the thumb. Insert the needle, not upwards from below but first into the upper edge, and then, slightly slanting, into the lower one. This seam is used in dress-making, for fastening down linings. Fig. 17 shows another kind of double seam, where the two edges are laid together, turned in twice, and hemmed in the ordinary manner, with the sole difference, that the needle has to pass through a sixfold layer of stuff.

GATHERING (fig. 18).—Gathers are made with running-stitches of perfectly equal length; take up and leave three or four threads, alternately, and instead of holding the stuff fast with your thumb, push it on to the needle as you go, and draw up your thread after every four or five stitches.

STROKING GATHERS (fig. 19).—When you have run in your gathering thread, draw it up tight, and make it fast round the finger of your left hand, and then stroke down the gathers with a strong needle, so that they lie evenly side by side, pushing each gather, in stroking it, under your left thumb, whilst you support the stuff at the back with your other fingers.

RUNNING IN A SECOND GATHERING THREAD (fig. 20).—This is to fix the gathers after they have been stroked, and should be run in 1 or 2 c/m. below the first thread, according to the kind of stuff, and the purpose it is intended for: take up five or six gathers at a time, and draw your two threads perfectly even, that the gathers may be straight to the line of the thread.

SEWING ON GATHERS (fig. 21).—To distribute the fulness equally, divide the gathered portion of material, and the band, or plain piece, on to which it is to be sewn, into equal parts, and pin the two together at corresponding distances, the gathered portion under the plain, and hem each gather to the band or plain piece, sloping the needle to make the thread slant, and slipping it through the upper threads only of the gathers.

WHIPPING (fig. 22).—Whipping is another form of gathering, used for fine materials. With the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, roll the edge over towards you, into a very tight thin roll, insert the needle on the inside of the roll next the thumb, and bring it out on the outside next the forefinger, at very regular distances, and draw up the thread slightly, from time to time, to form the gathers.

ORNAMENTAL HEM (fig. 23). For an ornamental hem, make a turning, 2 or 3 c/m. deep, and run in a thread, with small running-stitches up and down, as shown in fig. 23. By slightly drawing the thread, the straight edge will be made to look as if it were scalloped.

SEWING ON CORD (fig. 24).—For sewing on cord, use strong thread, either Fil d'Alsace D.M.C, Fil a dentelle D.M.C or Cable 6 fils D.M.C No. 25, 30, 35 or 40.[A] Be careful not to stretch the cord, but to hold it in, as you sew it, as it invariably shrinks more than the stuff in the first washing. Fasten it with hemming stitches to the edge of the turning, taking care that it does not get twisted.

SEWING ON FLAPS (fig. 25).—These should be back-stitched on to the right side of the article they are to be affixed to, quite close to the edge, then folded over in half, and hemmed down on the wrong side. Like the cord, the flap must, in the process, be held in very firmly with the left hand. Though the back-stitching could be more quickly done by machine, hand-work is here preferable, as the holding in cannot be done by machine.

SEWING ON TAPE-LOOPS (figs. 26 and 27).—These, in the case of the coarser articles of household linen, are generally fastened to the corners. Lay the ends of your piece of tape, which should be from 15 to 17 c/m. long, side by side, turn in and hem them down, on three sides: the loop should be so folded as to form a three-cornered point, shewn in the illustration. Join the two edges of the tape together in the middle with a few cross-stitches, and stitch the edge of the hem of the article to the loop, on the right side.

Fig. 27 shows how to sew on a loop in the middle of an article, the two ends separately, one on one side, the other on the other.

STRINGS AND LOOPS FOR FINE UNDER-LINEN (fig. 28).—Sew these on, likewise, on the wrong side of the article, hemming down the ends, and fastening them on the right side, with two rows of stitching crossing each other, and a third row along the edge.

BUTTON-HOLES IN LINEN (fig. 29).—Cut your hole perfectly straight, and of exactly, the diameter of the button, having previously marked out the place for it, with two rows of running-stitches, two or three threads apart. Put in your needle at the back of the slit, and take up about three threads, bring the working thread round, from right to left under the point of the needle, and draw the needle out through the loop, so that the little knot comes at the edge of the slit, and so on to the end, working from the lower left-hand corner to the right. Then make a bar of button-hole stitching across each end, the knotted edge towards the slit.

BUTTON HOLES IN DRESS MATERIALS (fig. 30).—Mark out and cut them as above described; if however, the material be liable to fray, wet the slit as soon as you have cut it, with liquid gum, and lay a strand of strong thread along the edge to make your stitches over; one end of dress button-holes must be round, the stitches diverging like rays from the centre, and when you have worked the second side, thread the needle with the loose strand, and pull it slightly, to straighten the edges; then fasten off, and close the button-hole with a straight bar of stitches across the other end, as in fig. 29.

SEWING ON BUTTONS (figs. 31 and 32).—To sew linen, or webbed buttons on to underclothing, fasten in your thread with a stitch or two, at the place where the button is to be; bring the needle out through the middle of the button, and make eight stitches, diverging from the centre like a star, and if you like, encircle them by a row of stitching, as in fig. 32. This done, bring the needle out between the stuff and the button, and twist the cotton six or seven times round it, then push the needle through to the wrong side, and fasten off.

BINDING SLITS (figs. 33, 34, 35, 36).—Nothing is more apt to tear than a slit whether it be hemmed or merely bound. To prevent this, make a semicircle of button-hole stitches at the bottom of the slit, and above that, to connect the two sides, a bridge of several threads, covered with button-hole stitches.

In fig. 33, we show a hemmed slit, and in figs. 34 and 35, are two slits backed the one with a narrow, the other, with a broad piece of the material, cut on the cross.

In under-linen, it often so happens that two selvedges meet at the slit, which renders binding unnecessary; in that case take a small square of stuff, turn in the raw edges, top-sew it into the slit on two sides, turn in the other two, fold over on the bias, and hem them down over the top-sewing, as shewn in fig. 36. Such little squares of material, inserted into a slit or seam, to prevent its tearing, are called gussets.

SEWING ON PIPING (fig. 37). Piping is a border, consisting of a cord or bobbin, folded into a stripe of material, cut on the cross, and affixed to the edge of an article to give it more strength and finish. It is a good substitute for a hem or binding on a bias edge, which by means of the cord, can be held in, and prevented from stretching. Cut your stripes diagonally, across the web of the stuff, and very even; run them together, lay the cord or bobbin along the stripe, on the wrong side, 5 m/m. from the edge, fold the edge over, and tack the cord lightly in. Then lay it on the raw edge of the article, with the cord towards you, and with all the raw edges turned away from you. Back-stitch the piping to the edge, keeping close to the cord. Then turn the article round, fold in the raw outside edge over the others, and hem it down like an ordinary hem.

FIXING WHALE-BONES (fig. 38).—Before slipping the whale-bone into its case or fold of stuff, pierce holes in it, top and bottom, with a red hot stiletto. Through these holes, make your stitches, diverging like rays or crossing each other as shown in fig. 38.

HERRING-BONING (fig. 39).—This stitch is chiefly used for seams in flannel, and for overcasting dress-seams, and takes the place of hemming, for fastening down the raw edges of a seam that has been run or stitched, without turning them in. Herring-boning is done from left to right, and forms two rows of stitches. Insert the needle from right to left, and make a stitch first above, and then below the edge, the threads crossing each other diagonally, as shewn in fig. 39.


[1] Our readers should be provided with a French metre, with the English yard marked on the back for purposes of comparison.

[A] See at the end of the concluding chapter, the table of numbers and sizes and the list of colours of the D.M.C threads and cottons.


The mending of wearing-apparel and house-linen, though often an ungrateful task, is yet a very necessary one, to which every female hand ought to be carefully trained. How best to disguise and repair the wear and tear of use or accident is quite as valuable an art, as that of making new things.

Under the head of mending, we include the strengthening and replacing of the worn and broken threads of a fabric, and fitting in of new stuff in the place of that which is torn or damaged. The former is called darning, the latter, patching.

DARNING.—When only a few of the warp or woof threads are torn or missing, a darn will repair the mischief, provided the surrounding parts be sound. When the damage is more extensive, the piece must be cut out.

In some cases the warp of the stuff itself can be used for darning, otherwise thread as much like the stuff as possible should be chosen.

MATERIALS SUITABLE FOR MENDING.—Coton a repriser D.M.C is used for most kinds of darning. It can be had in 18 different sizes, from Nos. 8 to 100, white and unbleached, and in all the colours of the D.M.C colour-card in Nos. 12, 25 and 50.

It is but very slightly twisted and can be split or used double, if necessary, according to the material. For all the coarser articles of house-linen, unbleached cotton is the best, and for the finer white fabrics, Coton surfin D.M.C Nos. 110, 120 and 150[A]. This cotton, which is not the least twisted, and is to be had both white and unbleached, can be used, by subdividing it, for darning the finest cambric.

VARIETIES OF DARNING.—These are four, (1) Linen darning, (2) Damask darning, (3) Satin or Twill darning, and (4) Invisible darning, called also, Fine-drawing.

(1) LINEN DARNING (figs. 40 and 41).—All darns should be made on the wrong side of the stuff, excepting fig. 54, which it is sometimes better to make on the right side. The longitudinal running, to form the warp, must be made first. The thread must not be drawn tightly in running your stitches backwards and forwards, and be careful to leave loops at each turning, to allow for the shrinking of the thread in the washing, without its pulling the darn together.

Run your needle in, about one c/m. above the damaged part, take up one or two threads of the stuff and miss the same number, working straight to a thread; on reaching the hole, carry your cotton straight across it, take up alternate threads beyond, and proceed as before. Continue the rows backwards and forwards, taking up in each row, the threads left in the preceding one. Turn the work round and do the same for the woof; alternately taking up and leaving the warp threads, where the cotton crosses the hole. The threads must lie so alone both ways, that the darn, when completed, replaces the original web. The threads are only drawn so far apart in the illustrations, for the sake of clearness.

When the material to be darned does not admit of a fleecy thread, such as Coton a repriser D.M.C, one that as nearly as possible matches the material, should be chosen from the D.M.C cottons.[A]

DIAGONAL LINEN DARNING (fig. 42).—Darns are sometimes begun from the corner, so as to form a diagonal web, but they are then much more visible than when they are worked straight to a thread, and therefore not advisable.

(2) SATIN OR TWILL DARNING (fig. 43).—By twill darning, the damaged web of any twilled or diagonal material can be restored. It would be impossible to enumerate all the varieties of twilled stuffs, but the illustrations and accompanying directions will enable the worker to imitate them all.

Begin, as in ordinary darning by running in the warp threads, then take up one thread, and miss three. In every succeeding row, advance one thread in the same direction. Or, miss one thread of the stuff and take up two, and as before, advance, one thread in the same direction, every succeeding row. The order in which threads should be missed and taken up, must depend on the web which the darn is intended to imitate.

When the original is a coloured stuff, it is advisable to make a specimen darn first, on a larger scale, so that you may be more sure of obtaining a correct copy of the original web.

(3) DAMASK DARNING (figs. 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49).—A damask darn is begun in the same way as all other darns are; the pattern is formed by the cross-runnings and will vary with the number of warp threads taken up and missed, in each successive running. The woven design which you are to copy with your needle must therefore be carefully examined first.

Figs. 44 and 45 show the wrong and right sides of a damask darn, in process of being made.

Fig. 46 represents a completed one. In the case of coloured webs, a light shade of cotton is generally used for the warp, one that matches the stuff, for the shot or woof.

Figs. 47 and 48, illustrate two specimens of darning, formerly done in the convents, from which it will be seen, that the warp and the woof were first drawn in with rather fine thread and the pattern then worked into this foundation with coarser, or else, coloured thread. When this kind of darn is in two colours, take, for the darker shade, Coton a broder D.M.C, or Coton a repriser D.M.C, which are both of them to be had in all the bright and faded shades, to match alike both old and new linen.

Fig. 49, which is executed in two colours, and is likewise copied from an old work on darning, shows you the manner in which a dice-pattern is to be reproduced.

(4) DARNING, LOST IN THE GROUND (fig. 50).—A kind of darn used for repairing rents, the edges of which fit exactly into one another. Neither the torn threads of the material nor the rough edges must be cut off; the torn part is to be tacked upon a piece of oil-cloth, wrong side uppermost, and the edges, drawn together by a thread, run in backwards, and forwards, across them. The stitches must be set as closely together as possible, and regularly inverted, as in every other darn. A much finer thread relatively than that of which the material is composed should, in all cases be used for darning. In this instance also, for the sake of greater distinctness, the size of the thread has been magnified in the illustration. Coton surfin D.M.C, will be found the best for darning both calico and linen.

FINE DRAWING (fig. 51).—The art of making invisible darns in cloth, though such a useful one, is all but unknown. It is a tedious process and one which, though easy enough to understand, requires great care in the execution.

Use as fine a needle as possible and thread it with hair, instead of silk, or any other kind of fibre. Red and white hair is the strongest, and stronger than the ravellings of the stuff. Of course the hair has first to be carefully cleansed from grease. Pare the edges of the rent, on the right sides, quite clean and even, with a razor, so that both rent and stitches may be lost in the hairy surface of the cloth. Scissors do not cut so closely, and are liable moreover, to disturb the nap, and render the darn more visible. When this is done, fit the edges exactly together, and overcast them. Then thread a needle with a hair by the root, and slip it in, 2 or 3 m/m. from the one edge and back again pointed towards you, through the other, so that, neither needle nor hair, are visible on either side. The stitches should be set slightly slanting and must be quite lost in the thickness of the cloth. The needle must always be put in, exactly at the place where it came out, and the hair not be too tightly drawn.

When the darn is finished, lay the article on a bare table, or ironing-board, cover it with a damp cloth, and iron it. The sharpest eye will fail to detect a rent, when carefully darned in this manner.

PATCHING.—As we have already said, when the defective part is past darning, it must be cut out, and a new piece of stuff inserted in its place. If the garment be no longer new, it should be patched with a slighter material than that of which it was originally made. The patch should be of the same shape, and cut the same way of the stuff, as the piece it is to replace, it should also be, just so much larger, as to allow for the turnings in, and can either be top-sewn, or else, run and felled in.

BACK-STITCHING AND FELLING IN A PATCH (fig. 52).—Tack in the new piece, so that its edges over-lap the edges of the hole. The back-stitching must be done on the article itself, as this renders it easier to do the corners neatly. The hem is turned down on to the patch. Make a little snip at the corners with your scissors to prevent puckering. The back-stitching should form a right angle at each corner.

TOP-SEWING IN A PATCH (fig. 53).—To do this, the edges of the hole and of the patch, must first be turned in, and either overcast or hemmed, to prevent their fraying, after which, sew the two edges together. The raw edges may also be turned in with herring-boning as in fig. 39, putting the needle, only through one layer of stuff.

DRAWING IN A PATCH (fig. 54).—Take a square piece of the original stuff, 5 or 6 c/m. larger each way, than the hole it is to fill, draw out threads on all the four sides, till the piece exactly matches the hole, and tack it into its place. Thread a very fine needle with the two ends of a thread of silk or Fil d'Alsace D.M.C No. 700, run it in at the corner of the stuff, and draw it out, leaving a loop behind. Into this loop, slip the first of the threads, which as it were, form a fringe to the patch, and tighten the loop round it, and so on with each thread, alternately taking up and leaving threads in the stuff, as in ordinary darning.

To put a patch into a thin material, in this manner, you must darn in the threads, a good long way, into the material, in order that the double layer of threads may be less visible.


[A] See at the end of the concluding chapter, the table of numbers and sizes and the list of colours of the D.M.C threads and cottons.

Single and cut Open-work.

The above heading comprises every sort of needle-work, to which the drawing out of threads is a preliminary. By sewing over the single threads that remain, and drawing them together in different ways, an infinite variety of patterns can be produced. Many pretty combinations also, can be made of open-work, cross-stitch, and other kinds of embroidery.

MATERIALS SUITABLE FOR OPEN-WORK.—For all the coarser stuffs, such as Holbein-linen, Java and linen-canvas and the like, now in such favour for the imitation of old needlework, it will be best to use: Fil a pointer D.M.C, No. 30[A] and Cordonnet 6 fils D.M.C, Nos. 10 to 20,[A] and for the finer stuffs, such as antique-linen and linen-gauze; Cordonnet 6 fils D.M.C Nos. 50 to 150,[A] Fil d'Alsace D.M.C, Nos. 20 to 100, and Fil a dentelle D.M.C, Nos. 25 to 80.

Coloured patterns can also be executed in open-work, with Coton a broder D.M.C Nos. 16 to 35, and Coton a repriser D.M.C, Nos. 25 to 50[A].

THE TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF OPEN-WORK.—The one is called, single open-work, the Italian Punto tirato, in which the first step is to draw out one layer of threads; the other, cut open-work, the Italian Punto tagliato, for which, both the warp, and the woof threads, have to be drawn out.

SINGLE OPEN-WORK (PUNTO TIRATO).—This, in its simplest form, is the ornamental latticed hem, in common use where something rather more decorative than an ordinary hem (fig. 8) is required, and consists in drawing out one layer of threads, either the warp or the woof.

SINGLE HEM-STITCH (fig. 55).—Draw out, according to the coarseness of the stuff, two or four threads, below the edge of the turning, and tack your hem down to the line thus drawn. Fasten your thread in to the left, and work your hem from right to left, taking up three or four cross-threads at a time, and inserting your needle, immediately above, into the folded hem, three or four threads from the edge, and then drawing it out.

The same stitch is used for preventing the fringes, that serve as a finish to so many articles of house-linen, from ravelling.

SECOND HEM-STITCH (fig. 56).—Prepare your hem as for fig. 55, and work from left to right; with this difference, that after drawing two or three cross-threads together, from right to left, you skip the same number of perpendicular threads you took up below, and insert your needle downwards from above, bringing it out at the bottom edge of the hem.

These stitches, which can be used for the right side also, form a kind of little tress, along the edge of the hem.

LADDER STITCH HEM (fig. 57). Complete the hem, as already directed in fig. 55, then draw out three or five threads more, turn the work round, and repeat the process, taking up the same clusters of threads which you took up in the first row of stitches, thus forming little perpendicular bars.

DOUBLE HEM-STITCH (fig. 58). Begin as in fig. 55, forming your clusters of an even number of threads; and then, in making your second row of stitches, draw half the threads of one cluster, and half of the next together, thereby making them slant, first one way and then the other.

ANTIQUE HEM-STITCH (figs 59, 60, 61 and 62). In the old, elaborate, linen needlework, we often meet two kinds of hem-stitching seldom found in modern books on needle-work. Figs. 59 to 62 are magnified representations of the same. At the necessary depth for forming a narrow hem, a thread is drawn, in the case of very fine textures where the edge is rolled, not laid; then fasten in the working thread at the left, and work the stitches from left to right. Passing your needle, from right to left, under three or four threads, draw the thread round the cluster and carry your needle on, through as many threads of the upper layer of stuff, as you took up below, so that the stitch may always emerge from the middle of the cluster.

ANTIQUE HEM-STITCH (figs. 61 and 62).—These show, the right and wrong sides of the hem; here the rolled hem is prepared as above, but the stitches are worked from right to left, and the thread is carried round the little roll, so that, as shown in fig. 62, it is visible on both sides of the hem. The needle does not enter the stuff, but is carried back at once, from the outside, and put in again between two clusters of threads.

SLANTING HEM-STITCH (figs. 63 and 64).—Bring out your needle and thread, two or three threads above the edge of the turning, between the first and second of the three cross-threads that compose the cluster, and then slip it under the cluster, from right to left. The loop must lie in front of the needle. When you have drawn up the stitch, put the needle in, one thread further on, and take up two threads. Fig. 64 shows the stitch on the right side.

DOUBLE-ROWED ORNAMENTAL SEAM (figs. 65, 66, 67).—Begin with any one of the hems already described, then counting as many threads downwards, as are clustered together in the first row, draw out a second thread, and cluster the perpendicular threads in this second line together, as shown in figs. 65 and 66. On the right side the stitch is straight (fig. 67). Coloured cottons should be used for all the above patterns of hem-stitch, when they are to be introduced into coloured embroideries.

SINGLE THREE-ROWED OPEN-WORK (fig. 68).—This, and the following patterns, are suitable for the headings of hems, and for connecting stripes of embroidery, and are also often used instead of lace, and lace insertion.

Fig. 68 will be found specially useful, in cases where the object is, to produce a good deal of effect, at the cost of as little labour as possible. Make six rows of hem-stitching, as in fig. 55; the first and sixth rows to serve as a finish, above and below.

The second and third, after drawing out six threads, the third and fourth after drawing out eight. The clusters must all consist of an even number of threads. The upper and the lower band of open-work is to be copied from fig. 58, the centre one, from fig. 57. Divide the threads of the perpendicular clusters in two; insert the needle, from left to right, underneath half the second cluster, turn the needle's eye, by a second movement, from left to right, and take up the second part of the first cluster, drawing it under, and at the same time, in front of the first half of the second cluster. Be careful not to draw your thread too tightly.

OPEN-WORK WITH TWO THREADS DRAWN THROUGH (fig. 69).—One such wide lane of open-work, between two finishing rows of stitches, may have two threads drawn through it.

OPEN-WORK WITH THREE THREADS DRAWN THROUGH (fig. 70). Overcast both edges with single stitches; draw the clusters together in the middle, as in fig. 68; then above and below the middle thread, draw in first one thread and then a second, straight above it, securing the latter with back-stitches to enclose the clusters between two threads.

CLUSTERED OPEN-WORK (fig. 71).—Draw out from sixteen to eighteen threads, between two hem-stitched edges. Fasten your thread in, 3 m/m. above the seam-edge, and wind it three times round every two clusters, passing the needle, the third time, under the two first rounds, to fasten the thread. The thread, thus drawn through, must be left rather slack. A second row of stitches, similar to the first, and at the same distance from the bottom edge, completes this pattern. To give it greater strength, you may if you like, work back over the first thread, with a second, taking care to pass it under the knot, which was formed by the first.

DOUBLE-ROWED CLUSTER-OPEN-WORK (fig. 72).—A very good effect can be obtained by making the above stitch in such a manner, as to form groups of three clusters each, between hem-stitched bands of the stuff.

TURKISH CLUSTER OPEN-WORK (fig. 73).—After portioning off, and sewing up the clusters on one side, draw out twelve or fourteen threads, and make your connecting-stitch and hem, all in one, as follows: bring out the thread before the cluster, and pass it round it, then from right to left, over three horizontal and under four perpendicular threads, again from left to right, over the four threads just passed over, and out at the second cluster; laying it over this, you bring it out behind the first cluster, wind it round the middle of them both, and pass it through, between the over-casting stitches back to the hem; encircle the second cluster with a loop-stitch, and carry your thread again over three horizontal and four perpendicular threads, and upwards, slanting underneath the stuff, out in front of the next cluster.

OPEN-WORK WITH DARNING STITCH (fig. 74).—Draw out from eight to twelve threads, according to the quality of the stuff. Insert your needle and thread between two clusters, and pass it, as if you were darning, backwards and forwards over them, until they are encased half way down with stitches. In so doing, work with the eye of the needle forward, and the point towards your thimble. To pass to the next cluster, take one stitch back, under the one just darned, and bring your thread underneath the threads of the stuff, to the second cluster.

OPEN-WORK IN THREE COLOURS (fig. 75).—This pattern which is to be done in the same way as fig. 74, requires the drawing out of, at least, eighteen threads. Every cross-line of three clusters is to be worked in one colour. The colours may all be different, or you may if you prefer, take shades of the same colour.


OPEN-WORK INSERTION (figs. 76 and 77).—For both these, the edges are to be overcast, and the darning stitches packed sufficiently closely together, for the threads of the stuff to be entirely covered.

Fig. 76 requires the drawing out of eighteen threads, fig. 77, of thirty. Both admit of several colours being used.

OPEN-WORK INSERTION (fig. 78).—After drawing out sixteen or eighteen threads, bind both sides with stitches made over four horizontal and four perpendicular threads, as follows; make one back-stitch over four disengaged threads, then bring up your thread from right to left, over four horizontal and under four perpendicular threads, back over the four last threads, and draw it out beside the next cluster. The clusters, as they now stand, are bound together in the middle, three by three, with darning-stitches. The thread must be fastened in and cut off, after each group is finished.

OPEN-WORK INSERTION (fig. 79).—First bind the two edges with stitches, in the ordinary way. At the last stitch introduce the thread slanting, according to the dotted line, pass it under four horizontal and three perpendicular threads of the stuff and draw it out; then over three threads from right to left, and back under the same, from left to right, and out again; over four horizontal threads, and, under and again over, three perpendicular ones; for the next stitch, you again follow the dotted slanting line.

Then make the darning stitch over nine threads, or three clusters. At half their length, you leave out three threads, first on the right, then on the left, whilst in the other half, you, in a similar manner, take in three; so that you have two darned and two undarned clusters, standing opposite each other. Finally, you overcast the single clusters, and connect every two with a lock-stitch, as shown in the accompanying illustration.

OPEN-WORK INSERTION (fig. 80).—Draw out twenty threads, overcast both edges with stitches, made over three threads. Then, make slanting stitches, proceeding out from these, over three, six and nine threads respectively, all three terminating in a perpendicular line, one below the other.

For the open-work, twist the thread five times, quite tightly round and round one cluster, bring it to the edge, between the second and third clusters, and connect these by means of six darning-stitches to and fro: join the first and second clusters in the same way by twelve stitches, and finish, by twisting the thread five times round the remaining length of the first cluster. The second half of the open-work figure is carried out in a similar manner over the third and fourth clusters.

OPEN-WORK INSERTION IN FOUR COLOURS (fig. 81).—Draw out, from twenty-five to thirty threads. The outside figures are executed over six clusters, of three threads each, in a dark and light shade alternately of the same colour. Each of the middle figures combines three clusters of the two figures above it, and may be executed, either in a different colour altogether, or in a lighter shade of the one employed in the top row. The little star in the centre should be worked in dark red, or black.

COLOURS: Rouge-Turc 321, Bleu-Indigo 312, 334, Noir grand Teint 310.[A]]

OPEN-WORK INSERTIONS (figs. 82, 83, 84).—For each of these draw out forty threads. Fig. 82 worked in white, and Rouge-Grenat clair 309, comprises fourteen clusters, of four threads each. Begin at the top of the big pyramid, so that the threads which you run in, can be more closely crowded together.

In fig. 83, the two rows of short clusters are worked in Gris-Tilleul moyen, and, Gris-Tilleul clair, 392 and 330;[A] the pyramid of steps, in Brun-Chamois moyen, 324;[A] the three inner clusters in Brim-Chamois tres clair, 418. One figure consists of fourteen clusters, of three threads each.

Fig. 84 also is to be worked in three colours; the light squares in unbleached cotton, the middle figure in Bleu-Indigo tres clair, 334, the large squares on either side in Brun-Cuir clair 432. Each figure contains eighteen clusters, of three threads each.

OPEN-WORK INSERTION WITH SPIDERS (fig. 85).—The edges are to be herring-boned, as described in fig. 39. In the middle, the so-called spiders are made, over every group of four clusters. The thread that runs out from the spider, passes over two clusters and under one, and then three or four times, over and under the clusters, as in darning, and so back, under the spider, at the place at which it was drawn in, and then on, to the next four strands of thread.

THREE-ROWED OPEN-WORK (fig. 86).—Draw out five threads for the narrow stripe, and from fourteen to sixteen for the wide one. Each cluster should consist of four threads. The narrow bands between, are to be herring-boned on either side. The dotted line shows the course of the thread, on the wrong side. Then unite each separate cluster in the middle, with a back-stitch, as shown in the illustration, and finally, join every group of four clusters together, with three stitches, and make a spider in the middle of the open-work, at the point where the threads intersect each other.

OPEN-WORK INSERTION WITH RINGS (fig. 87).—Bind the edges on both sides, with straight, two-sided, stitches. Take, for this, Coton a broder D.M.C, No. 30, (embroidery cotton), using it double. Draw out, from twenty-four to thirty threads. Wind your thread six or seven times round the middle of each cluster of nine threads, and then make darning-stitches, above and below, to a length of 3 m/m. When you have completed two clusters, join them together, by four interlocked stitches; wind your thread three times round the single thread, and sew it over with close stitches.

OPEN-WORK INSERTION WITH SPIDERS (fig. 88).—Draw out twenty-four threads. Ornament the two edges with half-spiders. You begin these over two threads, and go on taking in others, to the number of eight. The whole spider in the middle, is made as above described.

OPEN-WORK INSERTION (figs. 89 and 90).—The beauty of this otherwise simple pattern, lies in the peculiar knot, with which the edges of the stuff are ornamented.

Carry the working thread, as shown in fig. 90, from right to left, (see the description of the right side) over and under four threads; then bring the needle back, under the thread which lies slanting, form a loop with the forefinger of the left hand, slip it on to the needle, and draw it up close to the first stitch; pull the needle through the knot, and proceed to the next stitch.

The illustration explains how the open-work in the middle should be carried out.

OPEN-WORK WITH WINDING STITCH (fig. 91).—For this pattern, which is a very laborious one to work, draw out twenty-eight threads. Bind the edges with two-sided stitches, over two, three, four and five threads, respectively. For the middle figures, you must reckon four threads for the clusters, round which the working thread is tightly twisted, eight for the darned clusters, ornamented with picots (see fig. 165), and sixteen for the rectangular rosettes, in two colours.

Make a loose spider over the threads, as a background for the rosette. Work the picots in a different colour from the cluster, and the rosettes, likewise, in two colours. The connecting loops between the figures should be made as you go along, the thread being always carried back into the loop just made.

CUTTING OUT THREADS AT THE CORNERS (figs. 92, 93, 94, 95). If you want to carry a latticed-hem or a simple open-work pattern, round a corner, you must cut and loosen the threads, on both sides, about one c/m. from the edge of the hem, as seen in fig. 92. The loose threads can be pushed into the turning, and the edge button-holed, as in fig. 93.

If however, on the other hand, the stitching be continued without interruption, as indicated in the upper part of fig. 94, the loose threads must be brought to the wrong side, and as represented in the lower part of fig. 94, fastened down with a few stitches.

CUT OPEN-WORK (PUNTO TAGLIATO).—For cut open-work, threads have to be drawn out both ways, the number of course to depend on the pattern. Threads, left between others that have been cut out, serve as a foundation on which a great variety of stitches can be worked. Stuffs, equally coarse in the warp and woof, should be chosen for all cut open-work, for then the empty spaces that remain, where threads have been drawn out both ways, will be perfectly square.

DRAWING OUT THREADS BOTH WAYS (fig. 96).—The same number of threads must be drawn out each way; most patterns require the same number of threads to be left as are drawn out. In fig. 96, three threads have been drawn out and three left.

CUTTING OUT THREADS (fig. 97).—We often meet with cut open-work patterns, set in another kind of embroidery. In such cases, the threads that are to be cut out, must be cut a few millimetres within the edge, and then drawn out, so that there may be a frame of the stuff left intact outside.

BUTTON-HOLING THE RAW EDGES (fig. 98).—In very fine linen textures, the threads can simply be cut out, but in the case of coarser stuffs, and when a pattern ends in steps as in figs. 103, 104, 105, the raw edges must be button-holed as in fig. 98, or 99.

OVERCASTING THE RAW EDGES (fig. 99).—Cording the raw edges, is even better than button-holing them. Count the number of threads carefully that have to be cut out, run in a thread to mark the pattern, and then only, cut the threads through, at least two threads within the line.

OVERCASTING THE TRELLISED GROUND (fig. 100).—If you only have a small surface to embroider, you can draw out all the threads at once. But in the case of a large piece of work it is better to begin by removing the threads in one direction only, and completing all the little bars, one way first; after which you draw out the threads the other way and embroider those you leave. In this way you will secure greater equality and finish in your work.

GROUND FOR SQUARE, FIG. 105 (figs. 101 and 102).—Finish the first row of bars along the edge completely, to begin with. In the second row, overcast the bar, down to half its length, then carry your thread over two empty spaces, see the letter a, come back to the bar, overcasting the thread which you threw across first, and passing the needle under the bars of the stuff. In the second rows that intersect the first, marked by letter b, the threads meet in the middle of the empty space.

In fig. 102, finish the bars, overcast both ways first, and then fill in the ground with interlaced threads, worked row by row, throwing the thread from one square to the other as you go, and doubling it, as you return. For the bars, see the chapters on net embroidery, and Irish lace.

LATTICE-GROUND AND DAMASK STITCH FOR SQUARE, FIG. 105 (fig. 103).—Our illustration shows a third kind of openwork ground with one corner in damask stitch, of the square represented in fig. 105. The little bars which intersect each square crossways, are made in two divisions, by carrying the thread to the opposite bar and back. In the same way, the second thread is carried over the first. The damask stitches are described in the next chapter, in figs. 143 and 144.

LATTICE-GROUND AND DAMASK STITCHES FOR SQUARE, FIG. 105 (fig. 104).—Damask, or gobelin stitches, are given in figs. 152, 153, 154. The ground of this part of the square (fig. 104) is adorned with narrow bars, worked in darning stitch. From the centre of one bar, proceed three bars made on three foundation-threads, and a fourth made on two, on account of the passage to the next bar.

QUARTER OF THE SQUARE IN SINGLE AND CUT OPEN-WORK, AND DAMASK-STITCH (fig. 105).—Original size 48 c/m. square. This handsome square is worked in unbleached cotton on a white ground; it may also be worked in colours. A very good effect is produced by using Chine d'or D.M.C[A] red, blue, or green for the gobelin stitch, and a uniform pale tint for the cut open-work.

Figs. 101, 102, 103, 104 illustrate in detail, one quarter of the square, which is represented here one third of the original size. The centre piece (fig. 104) is bordered by four stripes, two long and two short; the former containing two lozenge-shaped open-work figures separated and finished off by damask stitches; the latter, only one such figure. For the insertion in single open-work, that recurs three times, you will find a variety of designs in figs. 81, 82, 83, 84, 87, 88.

For antique linen: Fil a dentelle D.M.C No. 25 or 30, or Cordonnet 6 fils D.M.C No. 50, 60, or 70, and Coton a repriser D.M.C No. 50 or, in place of the latter, Coton a broder surfin D.M.C No. 190.[A]]

DRAWING IN THE PATTERN (fig. 106).—Darning in the threads, as you do into a net foundation is a slower process and one that requires greater skill than drawing them in. The illustration shows the proper order and direction of stitches for Fig. 108. In this case likewise, the little bars must be finished, before the actual pattern is filled in.

DARNING IN THE THREADS (fig. 107)—In old needle-work we often find the pattern reserved, that is, left blank and outlined by the grounding. As it is difficult, especially in executing minute, and delicate figures, to withdraw the threads partially, without injuring the linen foundation, they are withdrawn throughout, and new ones drawn in, to form the pattern. To explain this more clearly, the original threads of the material are represented in a lighter shade than the new ones that are drawn in; the course of the stitches is indicated in a darker shade.

BROAD INSERTION IN CUT OPEN-WORK, WITH THE PATTERN DRAWN IN (fig. 108).—This insertion, suitable according to the foundation it is worked on, for the decoration either of curtains, table-covers, bed-linen or underclothing, is made as shown in fig. 106. If intended for the decoration of any article made of white linen, we recommend unbleached materials for the lattice-work, and bleached for the pattern, to bring it out in strong relief.

INSERTION IN CUT OPEN-WORK, WITH PATTERN DARNED IN (fig. 109).—This insertion can be introduced into any kind of linen material, and used for ornamenting towels, aprons, bed-linen and table-linen. When it is used to connect bands of cross-stitch embroidery, the open-work should be of the same colour as the embroidery, and the pattern worked in white or unbleached cotton, to correspond with the foundation. In fig. 109, the pattern is half as large again as in the original.

CUT OPEN-WORK PATTERN (figs. 110 and 111).—This pattern, more of the nature of lace than any of the former, is well adapted for trimming, not only household articles but also church furniture, altar-cloths and the like, which are required to wash, as it can be worked in any width.

Fig. 110, a magnified representation of the work in process of execution, shows alternately, ten threads withdrawn each way and six left, with open spaces between. The arcs are worked over three carefully laid threads, carried across from the middle of one bar to the middle of the bar at right angles to it, the wheels on the other hand are begun and finished at the same corner. Overcast the cut edges, and hem-stitch the outside layer of stuff (figs. 61 and 62).

GREEK CUT OPEN-WORK PATTERN (fig. 112).—After the foregoing explanations, no difficulty will be found in copying the beautiful Greek cut open-work pattern, illustrated in fig. 112. Here, we have in the original, 48 threads drawn out in the middle, both ways, from one straight bar to another, (these bars being darned) with open spaces between; and in the lower and narrower division, 21 threads drawn out each way. The cut edges, from bar to bar, are hem-stitched on both sides, leaving four threads of the stuff between.

The long bars, in the second figure, are button holed on both sides, those with the picots, on one side only.


[A] See, at the end of the concluding chapter, the table of numbers and sizes and the list of colours of the D.M.C threads and cottons.

Net and damask stitches.

Many net embroidery patterns and damask stitches consist of a combination of ordinary running and darning, others of chain, stem and cross stitch.

NET EMBROIDERY.—All these kinds of stitches can be worked on the coarse Greek net, as it is called, as well as on the finest quality of real Brussels net.

Stripes of net, finished off with button-hole edging, and ornamented with one or other of the following patterns, make very pretty washing laces and the like; net laid upon Irish point and converted by needlework into a lace ground, makes an excellent substitute for a hand-made ground, which demands much labour and time.

MATERIALS SUITABLE FOR NET EMBROIDERY.—The choice of material must be determined by the quality of the net and the effect to be produced. For a coarse make of net and a very marked pattern, the lowest numbers of D.M.C cottons, or the narrowest braids, such as Soutache D.M.C Nos. 1, 2, 3 should be used; if the net be fine and the pattern a delicate one, then the higher numbers of the following are preferable: Coton a tricoter D.M.C Nos. 8 to 20, Coton a repriser D.M.C Nos. 25 to 70, Coton a broder D.M.C Nos. 16 to 50, Fil a dentelle D.M.C Nos. 25 to 50, Coton a broder surfin D.M.C Nos. 100, 120, 150. The latter must be adjusted to the required size before being used, that is to say as many strands of it removed, as is necessary in order to reduce it to the proper thickness.

TRACING WITH RUNNING STITCHES (fig. 113).—Have your pattern traced on linen or paper; tack the net upon it, and copy it carefully on the net with running stitches. As in darning, the stitches must run first above and then beneath, alternating in each succeeding row. At the turn of the lines, the stitches cross each other, as shown in the illustration.

NET PATTERN (fig. 114).—Here too the pattern is traced with running stitches, which are run in on both sides of each row of meshes. The thread is carried first to the right, and then to the left, under every alternate bar of the net and out again. Between the first and second rows, one thread of the foundation must be left uncovered. In the next row, the thread is carried back again, so that it encircles each mesh. In the third row, the thread passes under the same bar of net as in the second, the threads touching each other. The fourth row is a repetition of the first.

NET PATTERN (fig. 115).—This consists of two rows of stitches. In the first, the single stitches run diagonally from left to right, over and under a mesh; in the second row the triple stitches, also carried diagonally across a mesh, lie from right to left.

NET PATTERN (fig. 116).—Begin with a double row, as in fig. 114; this is followed by a row of cross-stitch, touching the others, for which the thread has to be carried, first under one of the straight bars of the mesh and then diagonally, across it. A second, similar row of stitches backwards, completes the crosses. This can be further varied by the introduction of a row of triple stitches, after the double row, as in fig. 115, and the repetition of the two first only.

These rows can also be worked in two colours, or in white thread and washing gold.

NET PATTERN (fig. 117).—Begin at the top, carrying the thread, first under and then over two bars and a mesh, and then underneath as before. In the second as in the first row, the threads must be drawn in, so that 4 threads always meet in one mesh, and two run parallel to each other through the same mesh.

NET PATTERN (fig. 118).—This pattern, which resembles fig. 117 in the execution, is thickened by triple stitches. Above, where in the preceding row three threads were laid, the thread should be single.

Very pretty varieties are to be obtained by the introduction of several colours. Take white, for instance, for the first row, and different shades of the same colour for the second, third, fourth and fifth rows; such as, Bleu-Lapis 345, 344, 343, 333, 342, ([A]) or Rouge-Cardinal 348, 305, 304, 347, 346, ([A]) or Rouge-Geranium, Brun-Caroubier or any other colour that is absolutely fast.

NET PATTERN (fig. 119).—After one row of cross-stitch, such as was described in fig. 116, add a second, carrying the thread under the bar that lies between the first stitches, so that the two rows only cover three threads of the net. The close bands of cross-stitch must be divided from each other by one row of net bars.

NET PATTERN (fig. 120).—Draw the thread twice backwards and forwards, as in darning, through one row of meshes. In the next, make four stitches over one mesh and two bars. After the fourth stitch, the thread is carried forward under two bars to the next group. The meshes filled in thus are divided from each other by two double rows of darning stitches. Here you may introduce a variety in the colour, using either white and unbleached, or unbleached and pale blue, or some other combination of the kind.

NET PATTERN (fig. 121).—Make three diagonal stitches over three bars and two meshes, then returning to the mesh out of which the first stitches come, make three more in the opposite direction. In the second row, the stitches meet in the same mesh as those of the first.

NET PATTERN (fig. 122).—Carry the thread upwards from below, over a bar of the net, then pass it horizontally under another bar and carrying it downwards, pass it under a diagonal bar and cover the other three. In the second row, your loops must be turned the opposite way. When the whole foundation is finished, run a thread over the whole surface and overcast it. A good effect is produced by using white and unbleached cottons, in alternate rows.

NET PATTERN (fig. 123).—This pattern consists of one row of overcasting, one of stitches like those described in fig. 114, and one of cross-stitch, as in fig. 39, running diagonally across the stuff. Besides the cottons already mentioned, washing gold thread (Or fin D.M.C pour la broderie), may be used for the overcasting. Dead gold introduced into simple needlework of this kind enlivens it extremely.

NET PATTERN (fig. 124).—Three kinds of stitches are required for this pattern. In the first row the stitch lies crossed underneath the net; in the second, 3 stitches are made over one mesh, the first and the last of which are carried across three meshes. In the third row, button-hole stitches are carried from right to left over two diagonal bars, in such a manner that the thread is drawn through the mesh facing the loops, and the next stitch comes out under the loop of the preceding one.

NET PATTERN (fig. 125).—Fill in every other diagonal row of meshes with chain stitch, inserting the needle into the same mesh it came out of, so that the thread lies in front of the needle, in a loop. The rows of chain stitch may be made with two or three rows of meshes between them. Even the diagonal lines by themselves, make a very pretty foundation for other stitches.

NET PATTERN (fig. 126).—The first row worked from left to right, consists of three loop stitches upwards and three downwards, each over one bar. In the second row, divided from the first by one row of stitches, the inner loops must be turned towards each other; in the third, the outer ones. Any of the stitches, already described, can be introduced into this pattern to enliven it.

NET INSERTIONS (figs. 127 and 128).—These two, as well as the subsequent patterns, are most of them worked in darning stitch and simple overcasting.

The scallops in fig. 127 are formed of darning stitches, over 4, 3, 2 and 1 mesh, respectively. In the intervening space, which is five meshes wide, the stitch shown in fig. 118, may be introduced.

In repeating the pattern, the stitches forming the scallops, must be made to run in the opposite direction. Instead of the thread, simply drawn through the middle, little stars like those described in fig. 134, have a very pretty effect.

In fig. 128, the thread is first carried round one mesh and then on to the next scallop. In the second scallop, which turns the opposite way, the thread is carried once more round the last mesh after the pyramid is completed, and then on, to the next figure.

NET PATTERN (fig. 129).—This checked pattern is also worked in darning stitch. Carry the thread, as in fig. 125, through every second row of meshes. When the bottom rows are all finished, the upper ones are worked across them in the same way. Here the stitches may, if preferred, be distributed more sparingly. But if they are set wider apart, the spaces between should be filled up in some way. Little dots, made of Coton a repriser D.M.C, will answer the purpose best.

NET INSERTIONS (figs. 130, 131, 132).—These three patterns are specially suitable, for insertions, neck-tie lappets and the like, in the place of crochet, pillow, and other kinds of lace. Both design and stitch are clearly enough represented in the subjoined figure for further explanation to be unnecessary. All three should be worked with rather coarse cotton, and Soutache D.M.C[A] (braid) drawn in, produces an excellent effect.

NET PATTERN (fig. 133).—These delicate little figures can be worked into a close pattern, or can be strewn singly over the surface. The closer you set the stitches, the more clear and distinct the stars will be. The thread must be drawn in to the centre mesh from without, so as to be invisible if possible, and then back again to the outside when the stitches are finished.

NET PATTERN (fig. 134).—These flowerets have a very pretty effect, set either singly, or in double or triple rows, and are very useful for filling up gaps or supplementing rows.

NET PATTERN (fig. 135).—These star-shaped figures, their longest stitch covering three straight bars and two meshes, the shortest, three diagonal bars and two meshes, may like the above flowerets, be ranged closely together in rows, so that four stitches, two horizontal and two vertical ones, meet in one mesh. Cotton of two colours should be used, in order that the figures may be distinct from each other: white and unbleached are the best, in cases where bright colours would be unsuitable.

NET INSERTION (fig. 136).—These diamonds make a very pretty grounding either set separately, or in a continuous pattern. The design is slight, nevertheless, when it is worked in coarse cotton, the effect is exceedingly handsome, especially if the inside, in addition to the star here given, be enriched with ordinary darning-stitches, worked in fine gold thread, as we have already mentioned.

NET TRACERY WITH BORDER (fig. 137).—In order to bring out the pattern and the colours, use instead of cotton, Soutache D.M.C, or Lacets surfins D.M.C. Both are to be had in all the colours, given in the list of colours of the D.M.C threads and cottons. The little border can be used in conjunction with any of the preceding patterns, but care must be taken not to let it get twisted in the working. To prevent this, slip a coarse needle under the last stitch, and draw the braid flat over it.

BROAD NET LACE TRACERY (fig. 138).—The pattern of this pretty lace must first be transferred to stout paper, or oil-cloth. All the leaves and stalks, and the buttonholing round the open centres of the flowers, are worked in a pale green, the two bottom flowers in Turkey red, the star-shaped one in blue, the calyx in which the stalks unite, in dark red, and the little bells, in the lightest green.

NET DARNING.—We conclude with some directions for darning net, a valuable art, by means of which many a curious piece of old needlework is preserved. Coarse and fine net are all darned in the same way.

Laying the first thread (fig. 139).—Tack the net which is to be darned, closely to the defective part, upon either oil-cloth or coloured paper and cut the edges straight to the thread; Your thread must be of exactly the same size, as that of which the net is made. It takes three rows of stitches to imitate the net ground; in the first place, as shown in fig. 139, cross-threads must be laid from side to side, carried as in darning, a little beyond the edges of the hole and so as to surround each mesh with a slanting stitch.

LAYING THE SECOND THREAD (fig. 140).—Secondly, beginning from one corner, threads are laid diagonally across the first layer. The cross-threads of the foundation are encircled by a stitch, made from right to left, the needle is then carried under the next horizontal bar, and the first layer of threads is overcast with similar stitches.

LAYING THE THIRD THREAD (fig. 141).—Thirdly, threads are carried across the second and first layers. They must start, far enough from the edge, for the second layer of threads to be overcast at the same time, so that there may be no loose threads left on the wrong side. In this third journey, every diagonal thread of the foundation is to be encircled with a stitch, taken upwards from below, the cut edges being strengthened in the same way. Then, to form the little cross in the fabric, the thread must be conducted by means of a second stitch, under the single horizontal thread, outwards, to the next-diagonal thread.

In places where the net is worn, it can be strengthened in the same manner, the stitches being made the way of the stuff.

DAMASK STITCHES.—As a rule the pattern is simply outlined with stem and cord stitch, and the inside spaces are left plain. In spite of the time this simple tracing takes to do, the effect is rather poor and scanty. If however, the inside of the leaves and flowers, be filled in with damask stitch, the result is very handsome.

Not only can the following stitches, which are suitable for any linen coarse or fine, be used for this kind of embroidery, but most of the net and lace patterns too, and these combined with buttonholing and flat stitch produce charming effects.

MATERIALS SUITABLE FOR DAMASK STITCHES.—All the threads and cottons used for net work can also be used for damask stitches, according to the material and the kind of work. We will enumerate them once more: Coton a tricoter D.M.C Nos. 8 to 20, Coton a repriser D.M.C Nos. 25 to 70, Coton a broder D.M.C Nos. 16 to 50, Fil a dentelle D.M.C Nos. 25 to 50, Coton a broder surfin D.M.C Nos. 100, 120, 150.[A]

This kind of embroidery is generally done with a very coarse needle, to press the threads of the stuff closely together and make the light spaces between, which appear in many of the following illustrations.

FIRST PATTERN (fig. 142).—Carry the needle in a slanting direction over three threads and bring it out, from right to left, under three perpendicular ones, then again slanting, over three threads, from left to right, and out again underneath three horizontal ones, downwards from above. Thus the first stitch lies across, from right to left, the second, lengthways. On the wrong side, the stitch forms a regular succession of steps.

SECOND PATTERN (fig. 143).—This is worked exactly in the same manner as fig. 142, only that the second row of stitches touches the first, so that two threads enter and issue from the same hole.

THIRD PATTERN (fig. 144).—Though at first sight, this stitch is very like the Holbein or stroke stitch, it is very different in the execution. It is worked in two rows, to and fro; in the first, you make all the vertical stitches side by side in the width of the stuff, drawing your thread very tightly, in the second, coming back, you make the horizontal stitches in a straight line, at right angles to the first stitches. On the wrong side the stitches are crossed; they in thin stuffs, show through, and quite alter the appearance of the right side.

FOURTH, PATTERN (fig. 145).—In the first row, the thread is carried slanting upwards from right to left, over two threads, then downwards under two. Coming back, the stitches must be set the opposite way, so that four threads meet in one hole.

FIFTH PATTERN (fig. 146).—This is worked like fig. 145, only that the stitches must cover three threads each way. In the second row, you take up one thread on the right and two on the left, to form your stitches.

SIXTH PATTERN (fig. 147).—Here, the stitches form a chess-board pattern. You begin with a diagonal stitch over two threads and bring your needle up again into the same line it started from. The second stitch covers three threads, the third six, the fourth eight; the next three decrease, successively in length, in the same proportion.

SEVENTH PATTERN (fig. 148).—Two kinds of cotton have to be used for this pattern, one of them soft and flat, like Colon a repriser D.M.C[A] (darning cotton) or Coton a tricoter D.M.C (knitting cotton)[A] for the flat stitches, and the other strongly twisted, like Cordonnet 6 fils D.M.C No. 8, 10, 12 or 15,[A] for the cross stitches.

The five flat stitches cover three threads in width and six in height, and lie from right to left and from left to right. In the second row, which must be two threads distant from the first, the stitches must lie in the contrary direction. In the lozenge-shaped space between, make four cross stitches, over four threads in height and two in width.

EIGHTH PATTERN (figs. 149 and 150).—Make five stitches over 8 horizontal threads, miss 6 threads and make another 5 stitches. The groups of long stitches above and beneath the first row, encroach over two threads of the first group, so that a space of only four threads remains between two groups. The stitch between these groups is generally known as the rococo stitch.

Bring out your needle between the third and fourth of these threads, and insert it again above, drawing it out afterwards between the second and third horizontal thread, and securing the first stitch with a back stitch. Make the three remaining stitches, as explained in fig. 150.

NINTH PATTERN (fig. 151).—This consists of straight bands of flat stitches, covering three threads each way, with spaces 8 threads wide between, ornamented with a small pattern in stroke stitch, (see chapter on Tapestry and Linen embroidery).

DAMASK STITCH FOR FIGS. 103 AND 105 (fig. 152).—The stitches, here represented on a large scale, form the border to the square in cut open-work in fig. 105. The long diagonal stitches, on either side, can be made to look fuller and more distinct, by using a soft, coarse cotton.

TENTH AND ELEVENTH PATTERNS (figs. 153 and 154).—The former of these is used for filling in the short stripe in fig. 105, the second for the long inside one. Fig. 153 is clear enough to need no explanation; with reference to fig. 154, it is however as well to point out that the shortest stitch should cover 4 threads and the longest 12, the rest is easily learnt from the illustration. This is a very suitable design for the decoration of large surfaces and combines well with any running diagonal pattern, when it can be made to form a large star which can be worked as a separate figure.

TWELFTH PATTERN (fig. 155).—In cases where this and the following stitches are to be executed on a light, transparent stuff, it is best to use a very strongly twisted thread, such as Fil d'Alsace D.M.C ([A]) or, Fil a dentelle D.M.C ([A]) instead of a softer and looser material. A stiff thread compresses the threads of the stuff better and the open spaces, thus made in it, are rendered more visible.

Count 6 threads vertically, put in the needle and draw it through from right to left, underneath 3 diagonal threads. For the next stitch, carry it upwards over 6 threads, and back under 3. The second row is worked back over the first in the same way. Leave 6 threads between each row.

THIRTEENTH PATTERN (fig. 156).—Carry the thread, from right to left over four vertical threads, and under the same number of horizontal ones. The second row of stitches touches the first, so that the thread it is worked with seems to be drawn through under the same threads of the stuff, as the one the first row was worked with.

FOURTEENTH PATTERN (fig. 157).—Here, the stitches, contrary to those in fig. 147, are set vertically. The first stitch covers 2 threads, the second 6, the third 10, the fourth 14, the fifth 18. The longest stitches of two checks always meet in the same hole.

FIFTEENTH PATTERN (fig. 158).—Cover the whole expanse with rows of stitches, such as are described in fig. 155, with intervals of 12 threads between them.

These rows are intersected by others, to which the thread is passed, from between the sixth and seventh of the 12 threads between the first rows. Where the stitches of the two rows meet, the working thread of the second row must be drawn through, under that of the first.

SIXTEENTH PATTERN (fig. 159).—Between every two rows of cross-stitch, leave an interval of 6 threads, counting those on each side of the rows. Over these 6 threads work 2 rows, as shown in fig. 148, but so, that in the second, the lower stitch of the first row and the upper one of the second, cover the same threads.

SEVENTEENTH PATTERN (fig. 160).—This consists of stripes, 4 stitches wide, like those of fig. 155, with 3 threads between, which are overcast in the ordinary manner.

EIGHTEENTH PATTERN (fig. 161).—Small squares of 7 stitches, inclined alternately, to the right and left, and so formed, that the longest stitch of one square is crossed by the first short stitch of the next, so that a space only 6 threads wide and 4 long, remains uncovered. The intervening stripes are filled with 3 rows of overcasting stitches, covering 2 threads each way.

NINETEENTH PATTERN (fig. 162).—The steps formed by this pattern are 11 stitches high, and 11 wide, and each stitch covers 4 threads.

Eight threads intervene between each row of steps, which are covered at the bend, by a square of stitches, from the last of which, the thread is carried on at once, to the four single stitches.

TWENTIETH PATTERN (fig. 163).—The 4 squares set opposite to each other, with 2 threads between, are edged all round by 3 rows of overcasting.

TWENTY-FIRST PATTERN (fig. 164).—Begin by rows of stitches, like those described in fig. 155, over 4 and 2 threads, with 4 threads between, not counting those covered with cross-stitch. Between the two rows of cross-stitch, join 6 threads together by a back-stitch, and carry your thread over the two last of the 6, to the 2 first of the next cluster. The narrow diagonal stripes are separated by 24 threads, exclusive of those covered by the cross-stitches. These spaces are filled in with squares, 10 threads wide and 10 long, formed by back-stitches crossed on the wrong side.

TWENTY-SECOND PATTERN (fig. 165).—In the closer stuffs, of a coarse texture, the threads of which do not admit of being drawn together, as you can those, of a loose thin stuff, where, by simply pulling your thread a little tighter you get open spaces, you must begin by cutting out every fourth or fifth thread. After which, you overcast all the rows, first one way, and then the other, with stitches covering 4 threads, each way. On this foundation with strong, loosely-twisted cotton, Coton a broder D.M.C or Coton a tricoter D.M.C No. 25, 30, 35, or 40, make long stitches, as indicated in the illustration.

TWENTY-THIRD PATTERN (fig. 166.)—From the point where the thread comes out of the stuff, make 16 stitches, four times over, all coming out of the same hole, over 8, 6, 4 and 6 threads, thus forming a star. Leave an interval of four threads between the stars, and unite the intervening threads by cross-stitches one way, and whip-stitches, the other.

TWENTY-FOURTH PATTERN (fig. 167).—Make a succession of diagonal stitches, increasing in length, and advancing one thread at a time, until the seventh stitch covers seven threads, and completes the triangle. Then begin a second triangle on the nearest, adjacent thread.

TWENTY-FIFTH PATTERN (fig. 168).—Cover your whole surface with squares of 16 stitches, as in fig. 147, and fill in the intervening squares with 23 stitches, all radiating from one centre.

TWENTY-SIXTH PATTERN (fig. 169).—Diagonal trellised stripes, made as indicated in fig. 165, and overcast, form the ground. Twelve threads are to be left between the stripes, upon which, work six-cornered, lozenge-shaped groups of stitches, set at right angles to each other, in diagonal rows.

TWENTY-SEVENTH PATTERN (fig. 170).—We conclude our chapter with a circular design, which combines a variety of stitches, and introduces our workers to two new patterns, as well as to an advantageous way of hiding the junction of several kinds of stitches by semicircles of button-hole stitching.


[A] See at the end of the concluding chapter, the table of numbers and sizes and the list of colours of the D.M.C threads and cottons.

White Embroidery.

We have retained the familiar term, white embroidery, for this kind of needlework, for convenience sake, in spite of its inaccuracy, now that coloured materials are quite as much used for it as white.

It is executed, either on a backing of oil-cloth, or in an embroidery frame, called "tambour-frame". Only skilful workers can dispense with these, for an untrained hand can hardly avoid puckering. If you work without a foundation, the material must be held, quite smoothly over the forefinger, so that the threads lie perfectly straight, otherwise, the pattern is very apt to get pulled out of shape in the working. With your three other fingers you hold the material fast, the thumb resting on the work itself, beyond the outline of the pattern, which must be turned towards the worker. It is always the outside line of a pattern that is drawn in double lines, that should be turned towards the palm of the hand.

TRACING PATTERNS.—Patterns are generally to be had ready traced, but as it is often necessary to repeat, enlarge, or reduce them, descriptions of several modes of doing so, will be found at the end of the concluding chapter.

MATERIALS.—A loose, soft make of cotton, the looser the better, and very little twisted, is the best material for embroidery. We recommend for white embroidery in general, Coton a broder D.M.C Nos. 16 to 150; for monograms on cambric, Coton a broder surfin D.M.C Nos. 100, 120, 150;[A] and for English or Madeira embroidery, Coton Madeira D.M.C Nos. 40, 50, 60;[A] for padding, or raising the embroidery, all the different kinds of Coton a repriser D.M.C[A] can be used.

OUTLINING AND PADDING.—The outlining of a pattern is a very important preliminary. A want of precision in the ultimate effect is often due, merely to careless outlining. This part of the work should be done with rather a coarser cotton than the embroidery itself. Fasten in the thread by a few running stitches, never with a knot, a rule to be observed also in embroidering, except in very rare cases. Finish off your thread by drawing it through the tracing stitches, or through some part of the pattern that is already finished. Fill in the spaces between the lines with a padding of run threads, run loosely, and so that they lie thickly and solidly in the centre, and shade off on both sides. The fullness, and roundness of embroidery, depends on the firmness of this sub-stratum of threads. The outlining and the padding of the different rounded and pointed scallops, as well as of other figures that occur in white embroidery, are illustrated in figs. 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 187, 189, 190 and 191.

BLANKET, OR BUTTON-HOLE STITCH (fig. 171).—Work from left to right; run in a foundation line, hold down the working thread below the run line with the right thumb; insert the needle above and bring it out below the run line but above the working thread; tighten the loop thus formed, without drawing up the stuff, and continue in this manner, setting your stitches closely and regularly, side by side.

STRAIGHT STEM STITCH (fig. 172).—Work from left to right. The needle must always be inserted above the run thread, and brought out underneath it. In the case of a very delicate pattern, take up only just as much stuff as the run thread covers.

SLOPING STEM STITCH (fig. 173).—Work without a run thread; insert the needle from right to left in a slanting direction, under 1 or 2 horizontal threads, and 5 or 6 perpendicular ones; so that each stitch reaches halfway back to the last.

This kind of stem stitch is chiefly used for the fine upstrokes of letters and numbers, and for linen embroidery.

BACK-STITCHING (fig. 174).—Back-stitching, that is small, even stitches set closely together, is done from right to left, along a straight line, and is chiefly used for filling in the centres of letters, leaves and flowers.

CROSSED BACK-STITCH (figs. 175 and 176).—Used, generally speaking, only for very transparent materials; it forms a close seam of cross-stitch, on the wrong side, and two straight rows of back-stitching on the right. To work, insert the needle as if for an ordinary back-stitch, pass it under the stuff, sloping it a little towards the second outline of the pattern, and draw it out almost in front of the first stitch. After making a back-stitch, pass the needle up again under the stuff and bring it out at the spot where the next stitch is to be.

Fig. 176 shows the interlacing of the stitches on the wrong side, and the way in which this stitch, when it is used for filling in centres, can be worked on the right side.

SIMPLE KNOT STITCH (fig. 177). This consists of two back-stitches, side by side, covering the same threads; it is chiefly used for filling in leaves, embroidered on very thin materials, or in conjunction with flat stitch.

TWISTED KNOT STITCH (fig. 178). To work hold the working thread down with the thumb close to the spot where you first brought it out, twist it twice round the needle, turn the needle round from left to right, following the direction indicated by the arrow, pass it through the fabric at the place which is marked by a dot, and draw it out at the place where the next stitch is to be.

POST STITCH (fig. 179).—Something like knot stitch and much used for patterns, composed of small flowers and leaves, where it often takes the place of raised satin stitch. The illustration represents five leaves finished, and the sixth in process of being worked.

To work, bring the needle up from the back and twist the thread round it as many times as the length of the stitch requires, hold the left thumb on the species of curl thus formed, and passing the needle and thread through it, insert it at the end of the leaf where it first came out, and draw it out at the right place for the next stitch.

BUTTON-HOLE BARS (fig. 180).—When a pattern is ornamented with open-work bars, begin by tracing the outside parallel lines. Then button-hole the whole lower line and the upper one, till you come to the place where the first bar is to be; then you carry your thread across and bring up the needle from below through one of the loops, as, shown in the figure; lay three threads in this manner, inserting your needle the third time one loop further on. Then cover the three threads thickly with button-holing.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF SCALLOPS (figs. 181, 182, 183).—The outlining, padding and button-holing of these scallops is executed in the manner already described. Be careful to adapt the length of the stitches to the shape and size of the scallops. If they are pointed (figs. 182, 183), the stitches will have to be set very closely together on the inner line, and a little play allowed them on the outer, to come exactly to the point, which should be very sharply defined.

ROSE SCALLOPS (figs. 184 and 185).—These are, large button-holed scallops with indented edges, in the one case, rounded at the top and sharply pointed at the join; in the other, pointed at the top, and joined at the bottom by a straight bar of button-holing.

EYELET HOLES (figs. 186, 187, 188).—Outline the eyelet holes very carefully first by running a thread round them, then cut out the enclosed stuff with a sharp pair of finely pointed scissors, and edge the hole with plain overcasting stitches, worked from left to right.

When you have a long row of eyelet holes to make, outline the upper and lower halves alternately, first on one side and then on the other, using two threads, and then overcast them in the same way. The double crossing of the working threads between the eyelet holes makes them much stronger, than if each hole were finished off separately, and the thread passed underneath from one to the other.

The lower halves of shaded eyelet holes, (see figs. 187 and 188), are worked with very short stitches, and the upper halves with long ones; they may be edged entirely, either with button-holing or overcasting, or half with one and half with the other.

SIX LEAVES IN RAISED SATIN STITCH (fig. 189).—Raised satin stitch is chiefly used for working flowers, leaves, petals, dots, initials and monograms. After tracing the outline of the design, fill in the centres with a padding of long, close stitches for which you can again take Coton a repriser D.M.C[A] and then, beginning always at the point of the leaf, see letter A, cover it with flat, perfectly even stitches, worked from right-to-left. B illustrates a leaf, divided through the middle by a line of overcasting; C, one with a corded vein; D, a divided leaf worked in sloping satin stitch; E, a leaf, with a corded vein and framed in sloping satin stitch; F, a leaf worked half in satin stitch, half in back-stitch and straight stem stitch.

Leaves and flowers of all descriptions, can be executed in any of these stitches, and in different combinations of the same.

SIX WAYS OF MAKING DOTS (fig. 190).—Dots, when they are well made, are exceedingly effective in white embroidery, particularly if they are worked in a variety of stitches. Dot A is worked in raised satin stitch; B, in raised satin stitch, framed in back stitch; C, in raised satin stitch, framed in twisted knot stitch; D is composed of several post stitches of different lengths, set in a frame of stem stitches; E is worked in back-stitch, and F consists of a small eyelet hole, with a corded setting, which forms the centre.

VENETIAN EMBROIDERY (fig. 191).—Scallops, worked in very high relief, called Venetian embroidery, are an imitation on stuff of Venetian lace.

Real Venetian point is entirely needle-made; in the embroidered imitations of it, the stuff takes the place of the needle-made lace foundation. To make it more like the original however, the ground is seldom left plain, but is covered with fancy stitches, such as are represented in the illustration, or with one or other of the damask stitches in figs. 146 to 170. The button-hole bars may be made with or without picots. A full description of the latter will be found in the chapters on net embroidery, and Irish lace. The space to be buttonholed, must be well padded, for thereon depends the roundness of the embroidery. For this purpose take 6 or 8 threads of Coton a repriser D.M.C No. 25,[A] and fasten them down on to the pattern with loose stitches, laying on extra threads, and cutting them gradually away, according to the width the line is to be. The stuff underneath the bars should only be cut away when the embroidery is quite finished.

RENAISSANCE EMBROIDERY (figs. 192 and 193).—This is the term applied, more especially in France, to embroidery patterns, which are worked entirely in button-holing, and connected by button-hole bars without picots, as shewn in the two accompanying figures. The outside edge in fig. 193, is embellished with picots, described in the chapters just referred to.

RICHELIEU EMBROIDERY (fig. 194).—The name given to embroidery of a similar kind to the former, but in which the connecting bars, instead of being left plain as they are in the Renaissance embroidery, are ornamented with picots.

MADEIRA WORK (figs. 195, 196, 197).—This kind of embroidery, which consists chiefly of eyelet holes, and is distinguished for the excellence of its workmanship used to be known as English, but is now generally called Madeira work, from the island where it originated. The scallops in figs. 195 and 197, are bordered with shaded eyelet holes, worked half in button-hole stitch, half in overcasting; the finely scalloped edge, in fig. 196, is entirely button-holed. In working eyelet holes, the material must always be turned in, up to the inside line, and completely worked in, underneath the in order that no loose threads may be visible on the wrong side.


SWISS EMBROIDERY FRAME (fig. 198).—Letters, monograms, coronets and the like, require extreme care in the working, and can only be really well done in a frame. The round Swiss frame, or tambour frame, is the one most commonly used. It consists of two wooden hoops, fitting loosely into each other; the inner one, fastened to a support with a wooden screw let into the lower part of it, with which to fasten the frame to the table. The outside hoop is loose.

Place the fabric to be embroidered over the smaller hoop, the pattern in the middle, and press the other down over it so that it is tightly stretched and fixed between the two hoops.

A leathern strap with holes and a buckle, sometimes takes the place of the second hoop.

ORDINARY EMBROIDERY FRAME (fig. 199).—Tambour frames can only be used for embroidering pocket-handkerchiefs and other small articles; all larger work has to be done in an ordinary frame. Sew a piece of strong stuff into the frame, stretch it as tightly and evenly as possible, and cut out a square in the middle to the size of the pattern. Then tack your work in underneath, straight to the thread, dividing it out carefully with pins first, to ensure its being set in perfectly evenly. Roll or fold up the rest of the stuff over the edges of the frame, and secure it with a few stitches or pins, to keep it out of the way of your hand as you work.

ALPHABETS FOR MONOGRAMS (figs. 200 to 205).—On account of the difficulty of devising a good monogram for marking under-linen, we subjoin two alphabets, by the aid of which our workers will be able to compose their own.

The letters are of a good medium size, which can be magnified or reduced according to the worker's own taste.

For any such modifications, we would again draw our reader's attention to the directions given in the concluding chapter. The three first plates represent large wide letters, intended to contain or encompass the more elongated ones, represented in the fourth and fifth plates, figs. 203 and 204.

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